The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Uttar Pradesh hasn’t yet declared its policy for ticket allocation for the upcoming by-elections to seven assembly segments in the state, scheduled to be held in November, but family members of those whose seats were vacated due to various reasons, are already preparing to contest polls.
The Malhani assembly seat in Jaunpur that fell vacant following the demise of SP MLA Parasnath Yadav, has never been a BJP stronghold and the party is now seemingly determined to wrest the seat from Samajwadi Party.
The Nishad party, a BJP ally, has urged the BJP to give it the Malhani seat. The Nishad Party wants to field mafia don and former MP, Dhananjay Singh, from this seat and considering the sizeable population of the Nishad community and Thakur community on this seat, it would not be very difficult for the Nishad Party to win the seat.
Besides, a host of Thakur leaders including Manoj Singh, Satish Singh and Panini Singh are also lobbying for the seat.
In Bangarmau in Unnao, the seat that fell vacant following the disqualification of BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar after his conviction in a rape case, is now being claimed by Sengar’s wife Sangeeta Sengar,
According to party sources, there is a strong sympathy wave in favour of the Sengar family since most people feel that they have been unnecessarily ‘victimised’ because of the media trial.
The death of Kuldeep Sengar’s brother Manoj last year, has added to the sympathy factor.
Sources close to the Sengar family said that Sangeeta would contest the by-elections as an independent if the BJP did not give her the ticket.
Local BJP leaders are also in favour of Sangeeta but the state leadership is keeping the cards close to its chest.
In Deoria, the likely candidate for the by-election is Pintu Singh, son of BJP MLA Janmejaya Singh who died in Lucknow last month. Pintu Singh, in any case, has been handling his father’s work in the constituency and is popular among the people.
In Tundla, in Firozabad district, more than 18 applications have already been made for the seat that fell vacant following the election of SP Singh Baghel to the Lok Sabha.
A senior party functionary said that five former legislators were among those who had shown a keenness to contest the seat.
The Bulandshahr seat that fell vacant following the demise of veteran legislator Virendra Singh Sirohi, will– in all probability- go to one of his two sons.
Both his sons, Digvijay and Vinay Sirohi, are said to be lobbying for the ticket and some other family members have also jumped in to queer the pitch.
In Ghatampur, it is the daughter of UP minister, late Kamal Rani Varun, who is being tipped off as a candidate in the by-election to the seat. The daughter Swapnil, is a teacher by profession and is said to have shown an interest in claiming her mother’s political legacy.
In Naugawan in Amroha, sources claim that late Chetan Chauhan’s widow, Sangeeta Chauhan, will be the BJP’s choice for the by-election.
Though Sangeeta has not been politically active, the party leaders feel that the sympathy wave for the late cricketer-turned-politician will ensure an easy win for her.
“Our priority is to win all seven assembly seats where by-elections are being held and candidate selection will be done very carefully,” said UP BJP vice president Vijay Bahadur Pathak.